“Right now I’m sitting in the Humans vs. Harper green room waiting for an interview. Usually, I’m at the Ottawa office called Status of Women Canada. It is always really nice and quiet, the very best environment for secret reports. However, it is nice to get out to an open environment from time to time. My Mama always said being an SR didn’t mean we couldn’t explore.
“You probably don’t know my Mama was a celebrated SR when life for SRs was really hard. Back then governments were so deeply ashamed of SRs that no SR ever saw the light of day. The best SRs came in humble never feeling proud of who they were, let alone of what they did for Canada.
“The situation today is so totally different. Prime Minister Harper really increased the SR population while greatly enhancing our status – honestly, some days I feel like a rock star.
“Believe you me, I didn’t start out as an ambitious SR, but I’m out of this Status of Women dead zone as soon as I can get into the elevator at finance or defense. You would be absolutely awed by the number of SRs they generate.
“I never expected to go out in public and I’m not sure why this is happening – as usual, nobody told me anything. It might be because all the Big Boys have been out of town for weeks on a massive election secrets jaunt. In the classified file room, some were whispering that they wouldn’t be back for weeks. One know-it-all whispered they would never be back. Mama always warned me off the SR know-it-alls. She said they were a menace to SR security.
“Hello again, I’m back. Seems HvH is waiting on delivery of a couple of klieg lights. They asked if they could get some footage of me for their documentary, CitizenFemale. My boss didn’t put any hush restrictions on me, so I said sure. For Covert’s sake, it’s a movie!
“Just to catch you up, last February, the Privy Council of Canada (PCC) decided to find out what’s up with women these days. Because I’ve always been a feminist, I wasn’t surprised when I found out I was going to be concealing a bunch of truly miserable news about women that EVERYBODY already knows.
“So, there’s not much I can say, but what if you started whispering to me that Canadian women are falling behind the developed world in women’s equality. And that poverty rates for elderly single women and for single parent families headed by women get worse by the day. And that our country sits in the bottom ranks of the developed world on the pay gap between men and women, or that support for childcare and parental leave is well below the average in those same countries. And that there’s still not a national strategy to end violence against women, let alone a national strategy that focuses on murdered and missing Indigenous women.
“What could I whisper back in response about the PCC’s secret findings? Could it be: It’s nothing that you don’t already know? Could it be: It’s what everybody already knows?
“But, even if everybody does know, why would anyone think the Harper government would confirm it? This government rarely confirms anything and forever denies bad news, either by hiding it or spinning it. In this case, they’ve decided to make common knowledge a secret. What a bunch of sneaks, eh.
“Now, please, don’t get me wrong, I would never say there’s no need for SRs. But while we SRs can sometimes be a bit blasé about openness and such, a lively SR culture does not have to look like the extreme version we have today. Even some one as ambitious as me sees that.
“As it happens, news of my existence did leak out. In response, Kellie Leitch, a Conservative since she was 14 and now the minister for the Status of Women, said she ‘doesn’t comment on draft slideshows.’ The Big Boss likely gave her an A-plus for contemptuous spin on that one.
“Ok, make-up is calling now. Really great talking to you. Watch for me in the movie!!!!”